Earth day is celebrated every year on April 22nd. This year is Earth Day Canada’s 25th Anniversary and we’re #rootingfortrees! In celebration of 25 years, Earth Day Canada has committed to planting 25, 000 trees during Earth Month from April 1-30. For some great resources to teach children about Earth Day or to get involved you can visit Earth Day Canada’s website.
World leaders will gather today to sign the Paris Climate Agreement. Countries in attendance recognize that climate change is a common concern of humankind and is an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to society and the planet.
At the same time, the global network of Earth Day organizations are kicking off an ambitious campaign to plant 7.8 billion trees, one for every person on the planet by 2020. Canada’s contribution to this worldwide goal is 35 million trees – one for every person in Canada.
10 Benefits of Trees:
- Trees combat climate change. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 41,842 km.
- Trees clean the air. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
- Trees cool the streets and the city. Trees cool the city by up to 10°F, by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves. Temperatures are rising because tree coverage has declined and heat absorbing roads and buildings have increase.
- Trees conserve energy. Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.
- Trees save water. Shade from trees slows water evaporation.
- Trees shield children from UV rays. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent, thus protecting children in playgrounds and parks – where children spend hours outdoors.
- Trees provide food. An apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year and can be planted on tiny urban lots. Aside from fruit for humans, trees also provide fruit for birds and animals.
- Trees heal. Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature also aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue and reduces stress and anxiety.
- Trees create economic opportunities. Fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income.
- Trees provide habitat for wildlife. Sycamore, oak and maple trees are among the many urban species that provide excellent homes for birds, bees, and squirrels.
Restoring our forests remains the most affordable, health-promoting and regenerative solution to climate change. Will you help grow the global forest?